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Expert enlightens artisans on fake materials

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Expert enlightens artisans on fake materials

By Abolaji Adebayo

A products control expert, the Deputy Director, Head Packaging Technology Division, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Shakirudeen Ajani, has tipped the artisans on how to identify fake or substandard materials and avoid them in the market.

Addressing the artisans at a seminal tagged “Identification of Fake Materials” organized by the Artisans, Peasants and Traders Association of Nigeria (APTAN), Alimosho zone, held in Ejigbo, Ajani noted that using fake materials unconsciously for customers has been the bane of their successes as it endangered majority of the artisans.

However, in his lecture, he said there are some simple ways to identify fake materials if they are mindful of what they buy in the market.

According to him, fake products could be discovered from packaging, saying there are signs to know the standard products on the packages.

Ajani told the artisans to always look for marks of quality such as SONCAP, MANCAP, NIS, PAM and others on any product or material before purchasing it.

He added that Barcode is another mark of quality which the artisan must look out for on a product, saying the first three digits of the barcode signify the country in which such product is manufactured and that 615 indicates that that product is manufactured in Nigeria.

Although Ajani admitted that it may be difficulty for the artisans and the consumers to easily detect fake products through packaging as marks of quality are now cloned; he admonished them to keep learning on how to detect fake products and regularly visit FIIRO, NAFDAC and or SON for verification of the quality of products especially the instruments they use in carrying out their jobs.

He said: “Artisans, SMEs should not be panic to visit SON, NAFDAC and FIIRO. At FIIRO, we work together with SON and NAFDAC, they bring materials for analysis in our office and they collect certificate of analysis. We remove the substances that are not good in a product as the case may be and ask the manufacturer to reprocess it.

“For instance, there are some woods that swell up when they enter water, a carpentry worker should have known that such woods are fake or substandard. There are other ways of detecting fake materials which must be learned by every artisan.”

Speaking on why fake products thrive in Nigeria, Ajani said it is due to porosity of the ports of entry, saying that once such products enter into Nigerian markets through various channels, they could not be easily removed. He added that the Nigerian security agents manning the ports have compromised their good work.

Speaking earlier, the Head of Artisans, Alimosho zone, Ustaz Abdullateef Amida said the major factor drawing the artisans back in their works is fake materials, saying most of the times, artisans run into troubles and debts due to unconsciously usage of fake materials for customers, adding that some of them have been jailed.

Also speaking, the Head of APTAN, Alimosho zone, AbdulSemiu Hussein, noted that despite the fact that artisans make good money, one of their major problems is non-fulfillment of promises to customers.

Hussein, who was represented by his Secretary, Tajudeen Ogunbona, advised artisans not to compromise standards because of money in their works, charging them to always be sure of the current prices of materials before giving customers quotations and be truthful with their works.

He further admonished them to contact the experts in order to learn how to detect fake materials.

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